Monday, June 22, 2009

Nanoelectronics - "Skyscraper" Biological Fuel Cells


By Ian Coates

Scientists based at the University of Georgia, US, have grown conjugated polymer brushes directly onto monolayers, producing films with thicknesses less than 42 nanometres. This is a significant breakthrough for nanotechnology as existing techniques for creating electronics on the nanoscale are reaching their limits.

Previous attempts to grow conjugated polymers on monolayers have had limited success. Using a modified Kumada-type catalyst-transfer polycondensation, Jason Locklin and his team grew polyphenylene and polythiophene brushes, from aryl Grignard monomers, on gold monolayers. They analysed the polymer brushes using cyclic voltammetry, polarization modulation-infrared reflection-adsorption spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. 'This surface-initiated polymerisation technique allows one to create conjugated polymer films in a controlled fashion,' Locklin comments. The technique 'allows for a high density of functional groups to be obtained in a limited area. This has been called the skyscraper approach.'

Balance of article: RSC Publishing

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